Writing a will probably isn't very high up on your to-do list, especially if you're young and healthy. But a will is very important no matter what stage of life you're in.
If you have minor children or assets of any kind, you will be doing loved ones a great kindness by creating a will that can guide them.
Here are three great reasons you should stop procrastinating and create a will.
You name the guardian(s) for your children. It’s wrong to assume that guardianship will automatically be granted to a grandparent or close relative should you and your spouse both die without a will. A court could decide to grant guardianship to a relative you wouldn’t have chosen to care for your children or to an institution or other party. If you have children from a previous marriage, things could be even more complicated. A will ensures that your children will be taken care of according to your wishes.
Avoid family conflict. Many people assume that when they die, everything they own goes to their significant other. This isn’t always the case. If you have a life partner and aren’t legally married, your surviving partner, no matter how long you’ve been together, could get nothing. And if you don’t have a surviving partner, having a will can help ensure that your family isn’t left fighting over who gets what.
Protect and allocate your assets. “Intestate” is a term used for someone who dies without a written will. When this happens, the intestacy succession laws of the state that you reside in determine how your assets, including your property, bank accounts and valuables, will be distributed. If you haven’t appointed an executor or personal representative in your will, a court-appointed administrator will decide what happens to any property you don’t own jointly with someone else. Without a will, there's no guarantee that your assets will be distributed according to your wishes. The bulk of your estate could pass to an estranged sibling or a spendthrift child.
Ready to sit down and draft that will? You may need some help getting started. For information about retirement and investment services, call 781-698-2236 and take advantage of our free consultation services. Check out the other resources we have that'll help you with many facets of your estate planning.†
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